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Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Baghdad on Monday where he became the highest ranking U.S. official to visit Iraq since an insurgency has threatened to plunge the nation into civil war.

Kerry will meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and top Sunni and Kurdish leaders in a bid to push for a power-sharing arrangement.

This is a critical moment where, together, we must urge Iraq's leaders to rise above sectarian motivations and form a government that is united in its determination to meet the needs and speak to the demands of all of their people, Kerry said a day earlier in Cairo.

No country is safe from that kind of spread of terror, and none of us can afford to leave that entity with a safe haven which would become a base for terror against anyone and all, not only in the region but outside of the region as well, Kerry said in Cairo.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant known as ISIL or ISIS captured more territory over the weekend. The al-Qaeda splinter group wants to create an Islamic state spanning Syria and Iraq.

Iraqi Turkmen forces patrol a checkpoint in the northern city of Tuz Khurmatu close to locations of jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters.

Speaking about ISIL on Sunday, President Obama said: What we can't do is think that we're just going to play whack-a-mole and send U.S. troops occupying various countries wherever these organizations pop up. We're going to have to have a more focused, more targeted strategy.

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